Banking On a Break

When I was a younger man I seemed to have more time for longer holidays that ever I can manage or afford today. I was thinking about this as we were attempting to plan an extended weekend break with the usual trawling over calendars, through endless schedules and increasing work commitments. In the 80’s a two or even three week holiday would be the norm as we drove onto the Dover ferry or took off from Heathrow or Gatwick headed for warmer exotic climes. Today, because we are both self employed and work in different fields it’s tantamount to miraculous when a few days: perhaps a week manages to squeeze or synchronise itself into both agenda’s. I don’t think I truly understood just how lucky I was all those years ago to have such thing as a contract that actually awarded me four or five weeks fully paid holidays per year. All I had to do was fit them all around the UK’s several bank holidays to extend even these wonderful privileges up to five or even six weeks respectively. One of the people I meet regularly as I walk our dog Alfie said the other day that his boss has asked him to use up his unused holiday soon or lose his whole entitlement for this year. Unused holiday? Can you imagine? It reminded me, or should I say, I reminded me of that old Python sketch…you know the one….”You were lucky!” I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t hanker after those halcyon days, but it was then that I had to remind myself of the principle reasons for becoming self employed in the first place. I am my own boss: I answer to no one, and my success, financial or otherwise, is gauged purely by my own drive and initiative. There’ll be time enough for all those long extended sun-drenched holidays when I finally retire. Retire? You’re joking, right?

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